Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The forest and the desert

After our trip down Rt 66, we did finally make it to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert.  Man! Beautiful!  The kids loved them and had a great time exploring among the piles of wood. They were surprised to learn from the Ranger that an average of a ton of wood is stolen from the park each month!

Sock relaxing in the sun
A big tree root!

Jumping on sandstone ledges, surprisingly soft

It was much cooler under this ledge of sandstone

Agate Bridge, people used to be allowed to walk across it!

Perspective on the Agate Bridge

Overlooking Blue Mesas

Teepee formations, a lot of fossils were found here

Raven guarding the desert.

 We stopped at the Painted Desert Inn which was for a long time a working Inn.  The rooms are set up so you can see how they looked in the past.  There was only a small area that was not covered with stucco so that the original petrified wood construction could be seen.  It was a neat old building with nooks and crannies and a soda fountain that is also no longer running.  The National Parks Department maintains it now.
small portion of original petrified wood construction

Rooms all had their own entrances

Main Lobby of Inn, now a gift shop
Original cooler for soda fountain

View of Painted Desert behind the Inn

View of Desert from Inn

Storm following us back to Flag

Approaching sunset in Flag.

All in all, we had a full, fun day.  We know what we'd like to see again too.  There is so much in our state to see.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Mother Road

This past weekend, Bryce had to speak at a conference in Flagstaff so we tagged along to enjoy the cooler weather and explore a bit.

Kids had never been to the Petrified Forest so we chose that as a daytrip on Saturday.
Got up early after arriving late due to a traffic snarl on the way up. 
The bonus of driving to The Petrified forest from Flag is that you can travel on Rt 66!


So many great stopping places!
We left really early and started out.
First stop was Winslow that we could stand on a corner.

Sock hanging out
"....such a fine sight to see.."

That was a great photo op and included a gang of Harley riders to chat with also.

These guys were with us the whole day!

Winslow had some other interesting things to see also.
They had a 911 memorial that included debris from the Trade Centers, this lead to a great discussion on what had happened that day.


 And we sent some postcards also!

Holbrook, a bit east of Winslow is home to the Wigwam Motel which has an interesting history.  There were originally 7 of them in the country.  The family of the builder of this one still owns it and you can rent out a wigwam for the night.  They each feature a full bath with shower, cable TV heat and AC.  Two double beds are 58.00 a night!  We want to plan a night there sometime.
In 2002, it was added to the National Register of Historical Places.

There were old cars parked at every wigwam.
Rooms were cozy yet clean and comfortable

Office doesn't open till 4pm....just like the old days.

The great rock shop where the owner told us a little history of the town....

Billed as "the largest map of RT 66"

Holbrook Square Park, dinosaur was donated from a movie set.  Petrified wood is wild
We then stopped at several other Rt 66 ancient places; at one time booming places of business before the freeway was built.

Monday, August 20, 2012

First day back!

Even though we are not ready to give up our summer yet, the kids are back to their two days a week of school.
They actually started a couple weeks ago, just didn't get the pics up yet.

This is Carson's first year in Kindergarten!  He's never been gone all day before so I was not sure how he would do but he was raring to go so....he went!

Out front before we left

his seat in the classroom

That's his "posed picture face"  He was excited to be there.

He said he had a great day and has had good times ever since.  I told him just to do his best and if he didn't like it, we could always try something different.  So far he is into it and loves his teacher, Mrs. Skipper and his classmates.

Leigh is doing some different things this year, she was able to pick her own classes and has decided to start taking flute.  So far, so good.  She is also enjoying what she has picked and has met some new friends and reconnected with some old ones.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CA Dreamin'

Following our trip to PA, we came home and Bryce whisked everyone off to CA, except Mommy who had to put a few days of work in before leaving for the coast.

Exhausted after the PA trip

They went to San Clemente to visit relatives while Daddy went to see Ben Harper at the Hollywood Bowl.
Good Times.

Our new favorite toy--a light up whirlybird

Then we all met up at our favorite Southern CA Beach---OB!  We stay at a great little bungalow that is a half block from the beach, (If interested, let me know, I'll hook you up with the great landlord, Randy!) He even made room for our friends to join us!

The land of exotic plants

OB Pier
Down the pier

and enticing beach fronts

Boogie board champ!!

Carson had other ideas of fun on the shore

Reflective, time to slow down
Lighthouse Ice Cream----best dessert in town!!

fascinating fire works display off the pier!

An OB souvenir

The last sunset
Ocean Beach is the place to be over the 4th of July.  They have a great display of fire works followed by a town-wide marshmallow battle!!
This has been our retreat for a while and we have decided to keep it on our roster in the future.
We came home from this trip relaxed and refreshed.